New I-80 Tolling Study Lacks Credibility

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s ill-advised attempts to toll I-80 continues; yesterday, Brian Chase, an independent consultant, spoke to the House Republican Policy Committee (PLS Subscription) about the validity of a firm hired by the Turnpike Commission’s to assess tolling I-80.

Major criticisms include:


  • The PTC did not use an independent consultant, but one that was hand selected by the PTC.
  • The consulting firm used, Provident Capital Advisors, lacked credibility. It did not exist as a firm until a few days before it was contracted by the Turnpike Commission consultant. In addition, it had no past experience performing these type assessments.
  • The study had been “cherry picked to help reach a specific valuation result” ignoring certain examples of roads that are tolled.
  • Chase further concluded he doubted I-80 would be tolled because of the ongoing criminal investigations within the PTC and because it is bad policy to use the money from tolls to fund urban mass transit.

A recent study from Grove City Economist Tracy Miller and an older PennDot study both recommended not tolling the interstate.